Friday, March 04, 2005

Gifts and Good Advice

I like baking for other people for a variety of reasons. Namely, I like baking and, generally, people enjoy eating what I make. This means that occasionally I will buy odd containers and plates that can be given away or used to store/carry baked goods.
I picked up the neat paper loaf pans shown above at Sur La Table around the holidays, optimistically thinking that I would have lots more time and be baking little (ok, not that little) loaves for everyone. Needless to say, this never really happened. So I used them today to make little zucchini breads for a friend and for my grandfather.
I love these "pans"; they're disposable, cute, light and I don't have to grease them. Indeed, I'm not sure it would be advisable to grease a paper pan.

Speaking of advice, a reader recently sent me some advice in return for my advice on how to return a leftover slice of pizza to it's former glory (read: reheat pizza in the oven). I thought I would post it here:

You know over the years I have used many ovens in many different situations and perhaps you can benefit in some way from my experience. So here I give you my top 5 things to not cook/heat in the oven.
# 5. Plastics is not a good idea. Long lasting unwanted smell.
# 4. Any kind of footwear. From flip flops to motorcycle boots
# 3. Anything basically that warns "Harmful If Swallowed".
Especially anything that could be considered a solvent.
#2. Pelts are real bad if burnt.
# 1. Watermellon. Trust me, do not do this.

By the way, to reheat your pizza and get a crisp crust, take it from the fridge and put it onto a baking sheet into a (preheated, if possible) 375F oven on convection bake. Remove after about 5 minutes, when cheese is melty. If for some reason your pizza slice is frozen, defrost in the microwave first.
Heat your watermelon separately.